MODX users, How do you like this keyboard (or module)


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I was liking what I heard from the keyboard player from Mike & The Mechanics. Also, I liked what I heard in store.
What do you think?
 
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happyrat1

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There may be one or two people on the forum who own a MODX but I haven't seen any of them here on the boards for quite a while.

If you really want to hear the real details, warts and all about the MODX I'd suggest asking over on :


Gary ;)
 
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Perhaps you should expand your question?

Why did you not buy a MODX?

Because the keyboards at a similar price point that are made by Korg and Roland are better.

Kross 2, Krome, Juno and FA, I would buy any of these in preference to a MODX whose menu system is dire, controls lack feel and for the carbunkle in the middle of the buttons it just not fine enough in its control.

Look at the quality of the build of a Roland FA then look at the same on a MODX, it is chalk and cheese.

It is all well and good having a product champion, especially if their kit is supplied foc and you are sponsored.
 
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If you really want to hear the real details, warts and all about the MODX I'd suggest asking over on Motifator:
They really don't talk much about MODX over at Motifator, because it's not a Motif. The best MODX-specific discussion area is probably the one at https://yamahasynth.com/forum/modx-1

the keyboards at a similar price point that are made by Korg and Roland are better...Kross 2, Krome, Juno and FA, I would buy any of these in preference to a MODX whose menu system is dire, controls lack feel and for the carbunkle in the middle of the buttons it just not fine enough in its control.
Highly subjective! Each board has its pros and cons.

A complete 5-board comparison is beyond what I can deal with in this post. But while each of those boards has some advantages over the MODX, the MODX also has plenty of advantages over each of the others. For acoustic instrument emulations I think it generally sounds best, it includes an FM synth, it has a gigabyte of sample memory for expansions or your own sounds, it's strong on seamless sound transitions and control of external MIDI sound sources, and personally, I don't think it's menu system is so bad (though it does have some odd quirks and confusions). At least its large touchscreen makes it easier to navigate than some of those others. Live Set is great. You may say the controls lack feel (they seem fine to me, compared to those other models), but at least it HAS controls. Four endless encoders (each with multiple available functions) and 4 sliders (ditto)... that's more/better controls than on any of those others. But all of these boards do have some features others lack, so someone could be swayed toward one of these over another by things like the sequencer, pads, lighter travel weight, vocoder, VA synth, availability of 76 key version, different connectivity capabilities (pedals, outputs, USB functions)...

I believe you can increase the fine control of the superknob by limiting its total range. i.e. if you only need to manipulate a narrow band of the parameter in question, then adjust the min/max values accordingly, and you'll have finer control within the range you actually want to work in.
 
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Highly subjective! Each board has its pros and cons.
Not subject at all, a balanced view based on use.

In store I played an MODX then moved over and played a Roland FA.

Then I decided which is the better keyboard.

MODX
+
Piano Voices
-
All other Voices are harsh
Menu system overly compkex with a lot of levels
Slow access
Large control knob difficult to use precisely
Keybed of 61 model lacks feel

Roland FA
+
Voices
Menu ststem
Ease of use
Sequencer
Keybed feel of 07
-
Keybed feel of 06
Oldish model

Is that subjective enough with the Pros and Cons?

Looks like the FA is the better keyboard in my book.

Here in the UK a 08 of both the MODX and FA is less than £1150 where the Kursweil PC4 is £1900
 
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Not subject at all, a balanced view based on use
Something can be balanced and still be subjective.

Is that subjective enough with the Pros and Cons?
A mix. The fact that FA has a full sequencer, for example, is objective, but quality of voices is largely subjective.

In acoustic instrument emulations, the FA has Roland's SuperNatural piano, tine and reed EPs, clav, organ, acoustic and electric bass, acoustic guitar, and ensemble strings. All other emulated instruments (as well as some of the synthy stuff) are from the 20-year old XV-5080, a 64 mb sound set (though you can also add two up-to-64-mb SRX-based expansions). That's not to say that they're not good, but technically, MODX has a much larger and newer sample set (5.67 GB plus the ability to load up to a gigabyte of additional sounds from Yamaha and others, or your own). Also, a single MODX part (what Roland would call a patch) can have up to 8 elements, Roland's equivalent figure is 4, and a MODX instrument can even consist of multiple parts, if 8 elements is not enough.

In synthesis, FA includes a VA synthesizer, MODX includes an FM synthesizer. There's no objective better/worse there, it's what you prefer.

I know that seamless switching is something you care about, so I"ll note that in the MODX, you can seamlessly switch from any sound to any other as long as the sounds contain no more than 4 split/layered parts; on the FA you can only do that multi-sound seamless switching within particular sets of 16 sounds that you specify in advance.

Each has other advantages over the other. Yamaha's endless encoders means they always work immediately from where they are, whereas Roland's knobs either jump to a value as soon as you move them, or you have to move them until they "catch" the actual value of the parameter. Yamaha lets you put up to 2 effects on each of your split/layered sounds, FA only permits one (but you can split/layer 16 sounds across the keyboard on the FA vs. 8 on the MODX). Yamaha includes a USB audio interface which is handy for computer integration. Yamaha's Live Set screen (like Kronos' Set List mode) is really great for gigging performers. But FA has the sequencer, pads, and additional assignable output that the Yamaha does not.

Both are good. Without knowing someone's priorities, I would not tell someone else that one is clearly better than the other. For me, MODX beats FA, but I can certainly respect that others will prefer the FA.
 

happyrat1

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OK boys! Boys!!!

Let's stop bitch slapping each other cause we're all a little looney from the lockdown and there's no point taking our frustrations out on each other. :D

Like the guy originally said, he wanted to hear from MODX owners. There's damned few of them around here.

Like I said in the first reply, he'd be better off asking on a Yamaha forum.

Gary ;)
 
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There may be one or two people on the forum who own a MODX but I haven't seen any of them here on the boards for quite a while.

If you really want to hear the real details, warts and all about the MODX I'd suggest asking over on :


Gary ;)
As Scott mentioned, Motifator doesn't really do much with the MODX/Montage. There ARE a number of MODX users on the Musicplayer Forums Keyboard Corner (http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/forums/18/1/the-keyboard-corner).

Speaking as a Motif XF owner who could have bought a Montage (and the MODX is similar feature-wise), the biggest problem with the MODX is the lack of decent midi implementation for internal sounds. Unlike virtually every performance keyboard and workstation in the last 30 years, you can't assign multiple sounds to one midi channel. What this means is that you can't have a midi controller as a second board and play multiple sounds off the MODX unless your controller keyboard has multiple zone capabilities. Then you would need to change presets on your midi keyboard for each different song as well. Major oversight, and it's in both the MODX and the Montage.

The other thing is the lack of a good sequencer. I've played both the Montage and the MODX for several hours each (more like nine hours total on the Montage), and the sequencer just doesn't cut it even for draft songs. I'm not a power user by any means. I just like a simple linear multitrack recorder.


But the midi setup is the major problem I have with the MODX and Montage. If that's going to be something you want to use, then it's not the board for you.
 
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You guys know that I am not a fan of Yamaha.

In all fairness as I posted in other threads I watched video tutorials on both the Roland Juno DS and Korg Kross 2 to get a good idea of the menu systems before going instore to play them.

Whilst instore I had a play of the MODX, then when I got home I tried to find what Yamaha had to offer by way of tutorials. I found the Yamaha Youtube Channel on which there were two videos on the MODX, totaling less than 2 1/2 minutes. Is this the kind of customer care and product support any buyer wants, to have to work through the manual or layers and layers of menus to learn even the basics.
 
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problem with the MODX is the lack of decent midi implementation for internal sounds. Unlike virtually every performance keyboard and workstation in the last 30 years, you can't assign multiple sounds to one midi channel. What this means is that you can't have a midi controller as a second board and play multiple sounds off the MODX unless your controller keyboard has multiple zone capabilities.
To be more accurate, "you can't have a midi controller as a second board and play multiple sounds off the MODX" simultaneously with playing different multiple-part sounds on the MODX itself. A single-zone controller CAN be used to trigger multiple sounds (parts) of the MODX in other cases, i.e. where you are only playing a single different Part from the keys on the MODX itself, or if the MODX' own keys will be playing the same Parts as the external keys, or playing no Parts at all.

unless your controller keyboard has multiple zone capabilities. Then you would need to change presets on your midi keyboard for each different song as well.
Actually, no, in such a 2-keyboard setup, you still only have to change presets on your MODX. Remember, when you have it set like this so that each of the two boards can trigger multiple MODX sounds, the MODX sounds will always be on channels 1-8. Let's say your second board is a 4-zone controller. Set it up to transmit on, say, channels 13-16. Now all you have to do is set up your dual-board MODX patches so that the sounds you want triggered from your external board are all placed within the range of Parts 13-16 (leaving any of those that you don't need silent). Now calling up any of your dual-board Performances on the MODX will automatically assign each sound to the board you want it to be triggered from, over the key range you want to trigger it from.

As an aside, IIRC, that's a MIDI advantage the MODX has over the Roland FA. That last part works because, when you assign a sound to a channel (part) on the MODX, the MODX determines which keys it will respond to, even over MIDI. On the Roland, key ranges can only be set for the internal keys, not external ones. So if you want to trigger multiple FA sounds from an external controller, its split points have to be defined on the controller, not on the FA, so there's a situation where, yes, when calling up your patch for a new song, you actually would need to call it up on the FA *and* on the external controller.

Major oversight, and it's in both the MODX and the Montage.
Considering that it's different from the way they (and everyone else) has been doing it for decades, I don't think it was an oversight, I think it was intentional. The question is, why? My guess is that it has to do with the introduction of multi-part single instruments. For example, say you want to use a 4-part piano (i.e. one that takes advantage of this new architecture to permit a piano patch to have up to 32 elements per key). It does this through some internal remapping such that the keys are playing a single piano sound that spans parts/channels 1, 2, 3, and 4. If you could move channel assignments such that multiple parts of that piano sound were on the same channel, it might break the piano sound (additional wrong elements triggering on some keys or at certain velocities, etc.). That's just a guess, and even if it's right, I don't know that such a problem would be insurmountable to code around, but it is something that might have led to the inability to move Parts and Channels independently.

the midi setup is the major problem I have with the MODX and Montage. If that's going to be something you want to use, then it's not the board for you.
If the MODX/Montage is exactly the board someone wants except they must have that missing ability to have a single-channel external controller address multiple MODX parts/sounds while independently playing a different set of multiple MODX parts/sounds from the keys of the MODX itself, there is a workaround for this, by using a MIDI Solutions processor (or an iPhone or other iOS device, or laptop) to remap the single MIDI channel of your controller onto channels 9-16 of the MODX. Then, in all your MODX performances (patches), the internal keys will play your desired split/layered combination of parts 1-8 (which is the maximum you can set them to play anyway), and your external keys will play whatever split/layered combination of parts 9-16 that you want.
 
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In all fairness as I posted in other threads I watched video tutorials on both the Roland Juno DS and Korg Kross 2 to get a good idea of the menu systems before going instore to play them.

Whilst instore I had a play of the MODX, then when I got home I tried to find what Yamaha had to offer by way of tutorials. I found the Yamaha Youtube Channel on which there were two videos on the MODX, totaling less than 2 1/2 minutes. Is this the kind of customer care and product support any buyer wants, to have to work through the manual or layers and layers of menus to learn even the basics.
Yeah, each company has its strengths and weaknesses in support, too. You're right that Yamaha could benefit from a library of official video tutorials. The best youtube channel for Yamaha Montage/MODX support is actually not from Yamaha at all, it's at https://www.youtube.com/user/papaphoenix/videos (French with English subtitles).

OTOH, if you have a question, the forums at yamahasynth.com are very good, and you'll often get answers from Yamaha representatives, usually within a day. And searching the posts there will often turn up an immediate answer to your question, because many have been asked before. Korg and Roland have no comparable forum-based support. Korgforums and (if it's still around) Rolandclan can also be very useful, but you'll almost never see an official representative of Korg or Roland there, and questions can easily go unanswered.

Yamaha also has a library of MODX tutorials at https://www.yamahasynth.com/synths/search/mastering modx?category_id=81 which are quite good, though not as well organized as they could be (i.e. they are just listed chronologically, rather than being grouped/ordered in a more helpful way).

So I don't think Yamaha's support is worse than the others, it's more that these companies all have their support strengths/weaknesses in different places.
 
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Thanks everybody. I had the use of a FA and it didn't have the best soundset for soring and recording authentic orchestral parts.
I also was not pleased with the FA playing live. It was pulling teeth to get a simple bass/upper combo split. It could have been
my programming shortcomings, but I can find my way around other keyboards much quicker and easier.
 
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Thanks everybody. I had the use of a FA and it didn't have the best soundset for {scoring} and recording authentic orchestral parts.
I also was not pleased with the FA playing live. It was pulling teeth to get a simple bass/upper combo split. It could have been
my programming shortcomings, but I can find my way around other keyboards much quicker and easier.
This additional info about what you're looking for is helpful.

I think MODX is strong on orchestral sounds, but defining a split is not nearly as straightforward as it is on the FA, which if you were to try again, I suspect you might find easier than you thought, maybe you just missed the "split" button on the front panel! As Rolands go, though, this is a case where might prefer the (cheaper!) Juno DS. Though if I were looking for good orchestral sounds and good/easy split manipulation, rather than either of these Rolands, I think I'd look at the aforementioned Kurzweil PC4 (maybe even SP6 would be enough), or an arranger along the lines of the Korg PA1000, or possibly also the Yamaha equivalents, which I am not very familiar with. With the Korgs, at least, even though it's an arranger, it is still well-suited for real-time live performance, even if it means ignoring 75% of the front panel controls. ;-)

Important considerations: Do you have a preference for how many keys the board should have? Piano-style weighted hammer action or not? What's your budget?

Also, for your orchestral scoring, you might want to consider connecting to your computer, where you can find some excellent orchestral VSTs...?
 
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I found the Yamaha Youtube Channel on which there were two videos on the MODX, totaling less than 2 1/2 minutes. Is this the kind of customer care and product support any buyer wants, to have to work through the manual or layers and layers of menus to learn even the basics.
Here's a better link to the MODX tutorials on their support site:


I also found that they actually do have a youtube series for the Montage, and most of that would apply to MODX as well (though those videos are not totally current and don't reflect things that have been added in updates). The stuff is not the easiest to find, though, because the videos are unlisted! Although hosted on youtube, Yamaha apparently intends for them to be found via their own support site (where you can find articles which link to these videos). But if you're curious to see what videos they offer, check:

 
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Thanks everybody. I had the use of a FA and it didn't have the best soundset for soring and recording authentic orchestral parts.
I also was not pleased with the FA playing live. It was pulling teeth to get a simple bass/upper combo split. It could have been
my programming shortcomings, but I can find my way around other keyboards much quicker and easier.
I use my FA live. Splits and even 16 parts than can be switched as groups and split anywhere on the keybed is stupidly easy. Sounds aside (I agree the orchestral stuff isnt great - Yam are better at that - its VA/Synth stuff the FA shines at), the FA is actually really easy to use live.
 
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I have had the Modx for a while now. It is really a fantastic keyboard for the price. One problem I see is again the horrible way Yamaha produces the sounds for a B3 and Leslie effect. If you are looking for great B3 sounds it is not the ax to use. Otherwise it rocks.
 

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